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The Beach Boys — God Only Knows
Album: Pet Sounds
Avg rating:
8.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 541









Released: 1966
Length: 2:44
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I'll make you so sure about it

God only knows what I'd be without you

If you should ever leave me
Though life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me

God only knows what I'd be without you

God only knows what I'd be without you

If you should ever leave me
Well life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me

God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows
God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows
God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows
God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows
God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows
God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows
God only knows what I'd be without you
Comments (87)add comment
The vocal arrangement and performance alone are worth a 10!

An a capella version would be awesome!  
I love this song I’ll go 9 on this one
10 to the 10th power. Nothing less than Godlike. 
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Psd'd to this; last play 2012?
This classic should still be in rotation, IMO.
 
It is OTB and rightly so.
PSD'd to this; last play 2012?
This gorgeous classic should still be in rotation, IMO.
Oh, it's a 10, btw.
Just saw Brian Wilson play this live last night on the Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary Tour in my hometown of Ra'anana, Israel. It is almost unfathomable that this tour should pick my insignificant suburb in the Middle East as a destination.

I was in the exact same outdoors amphitheatre 24 hours earlier celebrating my daughter's high school graduation and then Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and a full band put on a fantastic gig. What a funny old world.
 Deadwing wrote:
Steven Wilson's favorite song.

Seriously

{#Music}
 

Absolutely.  The influence on Wilson's material is remarkable.

 

9 => 10   I know, I know.  What was I thinking?


So good.  If you like this type of Beach Boys sound and have not heard the recently released version of "Smile" do yourself a favor and give it a listen.  
Seriously, is there a song that is good as this in terms of writing and production? It's pretty much perfect.
9 -> 10. My bad!
Nah..don't think he cares or knows...#3
 ThePoose wrote:
God only knows what the world of music would have been without the two BEAs: Beach Boys + Beatles.
 
I like this sentense ! can I keep it ?  {#Innocent}


{#Bounce}
 ThePoose wrote:
This song made Sir Paul weep.
 

But, then again, Sgt Pepper made Brian Wilson have a nervous breakdown, so it all evened out in the end.
Steven Wilson's favorite song.

Seriously

{#Music}
Fond memories of surfing C-street in Ventura in the 60's...how time has flown!
God only knows what the world of music would have been without the two BEAs: Beach Boys + Beatles.
This is SUCH a perfect song for the kind of day it is today - blue sky, light breeze, hot sunshine, and the rest of the afternoon off.  Life is gooood...{#Meditate}{#Sunny}{#Cheers}
This song made Sir Paul weep.
Ditto!

 diannemck56 wrote:
Theme song to BIG LOVE!  I love Big Love and the song.  :)
 

 Johray63 wrote:
Wikipedia: Carl Wilson was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in early 1997. Despite his illness and chemotherapy treatments, Carl continued to perform after diagnosis. Carl played through the Beach Boys' entire summer tour which ended in the fall of 1997. He sat down most of the time and needed oxygen after every song, but he still had his unique voice. The only time he stood during concerts was when he sang "God Only Knows" to his fans.
 
Thanks for posting this, Johray63!  This is very moving.

This song always starts by annoying me slightly, rapidly grows on me and winds up sublime!

Beautiful, though it's linked in a bittersweet way to an ex ... sigh.
ah. love.
 On_The_Beach wrote:
One of the greatest pop songs ever.
 
by one of the more influential bands of the period.

Pure 10
It just doesn't get any finer.  One of the best love songs I ever heard in my life, ever. 
RIP Carl.
Wikipedia: Carl Wilson was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in early 1997. Despite his illness and chemotherapy treatments, Carl continued to perform after diagnosis. Carl played through the Beach Boys' entire summer tour which ended in the fall of 1997. He sat down most of the time and needed oxygen after every song, but he still had his unique voice. The only time he stood during concerts was when he sang "God Only Knows" to his fans.
I never noticed how haunting and mournful this song sounds.
On my all-time favorite list. 
 fingerpin wrote:
God help me, I have never enjoyed The Beach Boys. What the hell is wrong with me?!! {#Fever}
 
You have taste.

Theme song to BIG LOVE!  I love Big Love and the song.  :)
I can't and won't analyze this song. It is what it is, and it makes me feel good and optimistic.  I just love the Beach Boys. I'm usually pretty simple in my musical choices - if it makes me smile, or cry, or tap my foot, or take notice, I embrace it.  Or, to quote Peta Wilson's character of Nikita, "I like Froot Loops."{#Sunny}
 yofitofu wrote:
I am a southern california native and just can't stand the bubble gummy beach boys. They just don't do it for me.....
 

I'd agree with the "bubbly gummy" characterization if you were referring to "Help Me Rhonda" or "I Get Around", but Pet Sounds is as far from that as it gets.  It's one of the best records ever made, a record that changed how music was made and how we listened to it.  "God Only Knows" is my favorite song from one of my favorite albums.  Can I rate it an 11?
The last great mono album. Music changed forever after this.
Intricate and detailed...melodically beautiful. Masterpiece material. Love the backing vocals in this one!
I am a southern california native and just can't stand the bubble gummy beach boys. They just don't do it for me.....
 Eveland wrote:
And they don't even surf.
 
Dennis did.

truly an amazing song........not a big fan of their dated "surf" stuff but they did have some great songs like this, good vibrations, barbara ann
On_The_Beach wrote:
One of the greatest pop songs ever.

rdo wrote:

If that's not a backhanded compliment, I don't know what is.

///
Hm, why would someone who doesn't like pop music listen to RP, whose playlist is at least, oh let's say..60% pop? Well, if you really don't, I'll be happy to sell you my Fugs collection LOL

And BTW, if you like the Beatles, I hate to break it to you, but you like pop.

 rdo wrote:
If that's not a backhanded compliment, I don't know what is.
 
? ? ?  "Pop" is short for popular, so what's the problem? Would you call it rock?

 fingerpin wrote:
God help me, I have never enjoyed The Beach Boys. What the hell is wrong with me?!! {#Fever}
 
God only knows.... {#No}
For anyone who was still wondering about that little joke Bill made a couple months ago, this was the opening theme for the first three seasons of Big Love.

God help me, I have never enjoyed The Beach Boys. What the hell is wrong with me?!! {#Fever}
 On_The_Beach wrote:
One of the greatest pop songs ever.
 
If that's not a backhanded compliment, I don't know what is.

And they don't even surf.
 On_The_Beach wrote:
One of the greatest pop songs ever.
 
If you've stopped listening to new music 30 years ago.
One of the greatest songs of the rock and roll era.

Perfection.
 techer2 wrote:
I missed it....what was it?

 
LPCity wrote:

I loved it too, once it took me a minute to figure out WHY he said it.

Then I had a good laugh!
 

 
For what it's worth:

"... and up next, we have a little something for all of the fans of fundamentalist Mormon family dysfunction ..."

i.e. not much.

One of the greatest pop songs ever.
I missed it....what was it?

 
LPCity wrote:

I loved it too, once it took me a minute to figure out WHY he said it.

Then I had a good laugh!
 

One of the most beautimous songs of all times!{#Hearteyes}


 ziggytrix wrote:
fundamentalist what?  had the radio too low, didn't quite catch that joke.  :(
 
I am sure it isnt worth repeating, it wasnt funny.

 peter_james_bond wrote:
I love your intro Bill! {#Clap}
 
I think I'm gonna need a translation for the hard of humor.  Garrett Morris, can you help me?

ETA: Oh, I see it was used on Big Love.  I get it.

Was nice to hear at least part of this song every episode of Big Love ... but now that they have some crappy song and opening, not any more.  Also, the show sucks now.  Guess that isn't relevant.  Move along.
stops you in your tracks...

thanks rp!  one of my very, very favorite songs.  thanks so much...
fundamentalist what?  had the radio too low, didn't quite catch that joke.  :(
One of the greatest albums of all time.
goosebumps. thanks RP. i'm glad to see respect for the beach boys here, it shaped my ear at toddling age, foundational stuff for moi 
 peter_james_bond wrote:
I love your intro Bill! {#Clap}
 
I loved it too, once it took me a minute to figure out WHY he said it.

Then I had a good laugh!

Surely among the best all time pop love songs, right up there with "In My Life," "In Your Eyes," and "What Is Life." Thanks, Bill.
I love your intro Bill! {#Clap}
If there could be only one song to rate a "10", this would be a very good choice.
I'm surprised that it isn't even in the top 60(!) listener ratings of RP classics.

Don't take my word for it; Wikipedia sums it up nicely:
"Nowadays Pet Sounds is regarded as one of the finest albums of all time on many music magazines lists of greatest albums of all time, including TIME, Rolling Stone, New Musical Express, Mojo, and The Times.

The album's meticulously layered harmonies and inventive instrumentation (performed by the cream of Los Angeles session musicians known among themselves as The Wrecking Crew) set a new standard for popular music. It remains one of the more evocative releases of the decade, with a distinctive strain of melancholy and nostalgia for youth. The album is still widely regarded as a classic of the rock era. Among other accolades, Paul McCartney has named it one of his favorite albums of all time (with "God Only Knows" as his all-time favorite song). McCartney has frequently said that it was the inspiration behind the Beatles' album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, similar to Brian Wilson stating he was inspired to make Pet Sounds upon listening to The Beatles' Rubber Soul."

Bill, can you please add some more post-surf Beach Boys to the playlist?
Pretty much anything from this album is extremely good, and, to a lesser degree, most of "Smile".



WOOF! RP's getting a real *oldies* feel these last couple of days...not terrible, just out of place. A 6 , for now.
There is absolutely no self-important inflation going on in this thread at all. Truly the creation of this song was the best thing to happen in the history of the universe, including the Big Bang. The lyrical power of repeating a single line for 20 minutes! The use of common instruments to construct a forgettable, non-haunting melody! Genius!
After hearing this on RP I was listening to Wilco's "Summerteeth" - I think the sound on that album is definitely a tribute to Pet Sounds... has anybody else noticed the same thing?
mmmmmm....wow, God Only Knows followed by Neil Young.....have I ever mentioned how much melikes RP?
Listen on headphones. Oh. My. God.
If I may echo the sentiments below, this song is pure genius. Brian Wilson is the Mozart of our generation. Absolutely briliant, regardless of how one may feel about the Beach Boys.
Bodhisattva wrote:
If you don't know that this is a 10, I feel very sorry for you. :daisy: :meditate: :music:
Go ahead and feel sorry for me then - This is a 1
You can't help but feel happy when you hear the Beach Boys, especially this sweet little song! :daisy.gif:
:-& please :stop: sorry guys
Amazing song! A 10 for sure.
Amazing. 8) This is one of the very few "real" Beach Boys songs on the RP list. Rare are the Pet Sounds and Smile tracks, from Brian's creative peak. But fear not, we're loaded down with the cars-surf-chicks top 40 trash dribble. I say this because I've had some good deep BB cuts rejected, and I'm bitter. That's all.
Rickvee wrote:
This is simply one of the greatest pop tunes ever written. And I'm not that much of a Beach Boys fan but this song is just greatness.
There are quite a few more gems these guys did but alas no one plays them. :sad:
Man, Carl sure could sing.
Now here's true talent. Brian Wilson makes Neil Young look like a kindergartener playing with a 4-string toy guitar.
This is simply one of the greatest pop tunes ever written. And I'm not that much of a Beach Boys fan but this song is just greatness.
:sunny.gif:
I remember hearing an interview with Brian Wilson, maybe 15 years ago, in which he was asked something like how do you feel about that stuff you wrote back in the 60s. His answer was basically that he didn't think much of it. The interviewer then said what about "God Only Knows"? He WAS proud of that one. Justifiably so.
If you don't know that this is a 10, I feel very sorry for you. :daisy.gif: :meditate.gif: :music:
What an ending.
Johray63 wrote:
This is the sort of work The Beatles couldn't touch, let alone another band.
A couple weeks ago I saw Brian Wilson and his "Smile" tour here in D.C., with the Wondermints. They played this song, among other Beach Boys' staples. And they did Smile in its entirety. Simply extraordinary. Go see it if it comes near you. If he had finished and released Smile in the 1960s it would have been mind-blowing stuff. And he dedicated this one to his late brothers, Carl and Dennis.
This is one of the greatest songs ever written and recorded.
This is the sort of work The Beatles couldn't touch, let alone another band.
Beautiful work here. Changed pop music forever. Brian is deaf in one ear too. Amazing under any circumstances tho...
:stop: my ears are bleeding.